Friday, January 11, 2008

Forgiven! How incredibly freeing!

What does it mean to be forgiven?

My O.T. reading today in Jeremiah 50 uncovered a great illustration in the future restoration of God's covenant people, Israel: "In those days...declares the Lord, search will be made for Israel's guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare."

To be forgiven is to have no remaining record of one's sin. Wow!

I'm so grateful!

God calls on us to forgive others as He has forgiven us.

If this means that I eliminate all evidence of their wrongs (real or perceived) against me, I will need God's grace to make and maintain that commitment.

A related challenging issue relates to wrongs which are not merely personal (which I must forgive) but which fall into the category of crimes against other individuals, or institutions, or society --wrongful actions which go beyond personal offenses.

What is personal, I must forgive -- erase the record. What is civil or social I must release to God and to those He has ordained to deal with such (e.g. Romans 13).

I have sometimes briefly thought (this is undoubtedly the suggestion of my sinful nature) how gratifying it will be someday to receive God's vindication where I have been wronged. Then sanity returns and I recognize that in His presence, I will undoubtedly be so overwhelmed by a new comprehension of His grace and mercy in MY life, that I will not desire nor find any pleasure in anything but God's grace and mercy in the lives of others as well.

I am so thankful for the forgiveness Jesus provides.

1 comment:

Jody said...

Amen. My life has been changed because of God's grace and forgiveness. Jesus' example of forgiving others who wronged Him no matter the cost is a hard one to follow. But I am learning, day by day, it comes with such blessing and reward.
I continue to be humbled at how many times God forgives me...and then forgets my sin forever. I am beginning to understand that sharing in His suffering {the wrongs that happen in my life} are acts of mercy that He allows me to experience. In forgiving I have freedom- which I do not deserve. This understanding only fuels the desire of my heart to share His forgiveness, love and grace with others in need.
His forgiveness is like no other. It pains me that so many do not know or understand.
I thank God for His son Jesus and His unfailing love for me...a sinner.
Thank you for this post, Dr. Rudd. Blessings to you in 2008- however they may come packaged.